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The Four C's To Know When Shopping For a Diamond

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The Four C's To Know When Shopping For a Diamond

Diamonds it is said are a girl’s best friend, indeed they are. Diamonds have captured the heart of many jewel lovers as one of the most beautiful stones. Through the ages diamonds have been sought after as prized possessions due to it’s beauty and rarity. The beauty and rarity of a diamond is determined by the Four C’s; clarity, color, cut and carat size. 

An indication of how clear the diamond is. It remains free from blemishes that distract light reflections from bouncing when viewed by the naked eye or a 10X loupe, or magnifier. The ray of light on a diamond should reflect colors and sparkles that seem to dance around in movement free of blurs, blemishes, scuffs and other imperfections.

Here are some simple definitions of these terms

Blemishes - This represents the imperfections viewed on the outside of the diamond. The categories under this term includes;

  • Chips: A small missing piece possibly caused by wear or the cutting process.

- Scratch: A small line or abrasion.
- Fracture: A crack on the surface
- Polishing lines: Small lines usually made during the polishing stage
- Natural: An unpolished area of the diamond
- Extra facets: Added polished surfaces that spoil the symmetry of the diamond.
- Bearding: Small fracture found on the edge

  • Inclusions: Imperfections on the inside of the diamond
    Category includes:

- Carbon: Black spot found inside the diamond
- Feather: Inside cracking of the diamond
- Crystal: White spots settled inside the diamond
- Pinpoint: Tiny spots
- Cloud: a cluster of small pinpoint spots grouped together to give the impression of an inclusion

Loupe - This is a small magnifying glass used by most profession jeweler to view gemstones. A good jeweler will let you use this devise to view the diamond and will show you how. The magnification on a Loupe (otherwise pronounced “loon” by some jewelers) should be 10X, or 10 power in magnification with the housing from the lens black to not distort the color of the diamond. This is a standard view magnification for diamonds.

Here are some clarity grades of diamonds as established by some institutes and organizations in North America. This will come in handy in assisting you with a decision on your choice of a diamond.

Flawless – Free from inclusions and blemishes when viewed under a 10X magnification zoom = Very rare and can be very expensive

Internal flawless – may have slight blemishes but is otherwise free of inclusions = Very expensive and very rare
VVS1/2 (Very, Very Slightly Included) – Rare and expensive
VS1/2 ( Very Slightly Included) – As very slight inclusions the size of a pin tip. Has no fractures, carbon or breaks = High quality.
SI1 (Slightly Included) – Contains inclusions that are larger than a pin tip. These inclusions could also be fractures or Carbon. 90% of all SI1dimond’s flaws cannot be seen by the naked eye = Good quality.
SI2 (slightly Included) – same as above except that the inclusions are visible to the naked eye = Borderline diamond.

All others include Imperfections that you would possibly rather not include in your options

Diamonds can be found in a variety of colors, this is convenient for some jewel lovers who byes them in preferred colors to represent a birth stone color or to go with an apparel. Colored diamonds are common but in general, the whiter the diamond the better it is. With all the colors diamonds come in, you will most likely see white or yellow in the shops throughout your shopping. The yellow color in a diamond will come from nitrogen, note; the more yellow the diamond the less value it will hold due to the lack of sparkle and sharpness it will reflect. Among diamonds with color the canary diamond being yellow shines above this rule as a very rare and expensive stone. As colors can be tricky to the human eye and some people will read colors different than others, a good suggestion would be to ask the jeweler to have it compared to a master set or placed in a colorimeter to determine an accurate reading.

Some diamond will glow different colors under a UV light. It is important to avoid them. This diamond may glow bright blue under the UV light but will likely glow dull under natural sunlight. Diamonds with this type of effect may worth 20 – 30 percent less than diamonds that do not glow fluorescence.
Following are some color grades usd by the GIA (World's Foremost Authority in Gemology):

  • D, E, F: Ahs no color (clear white)
  • G, H, I: Almost colorless (slight color)
  • J, K, L: Small amount of yellow
  • M, N, O: Very small amount of yellow
  • P, Q, R, S, T,
    U, V, W, X: Appears darker yellow
  • Z: Flashy colors

3. CUT
The cut of the diamond refers to not only the shape, but also its proportions. These are very important factors that will determine the sparkles it reflects under light.
No diamond will appear truly attractive unless it sparkles and, this is determined by the cut. A diamond cut can be done in a variety of shapes It will not matter how white, big or clean the diamond is, if the cut is not correctly it just wont sparkle the way it should.

Modern Diamond Cut



Carat size is last but definitely not lease. Some people hear the term “carat size” and think it to mean the size or dimension of the diamond, this term actually represents the weight which depending on the cut, could be anywhere from small in appearance to huge in size when sitting on a wedding ring.

The price you will pay for a diamond wedding ring will be determined by these Four C’s so, familiarizing yourself with them may come in useful when making that purchase. It is important that when shopping for a diamond you not focus on any one C as this will more than likely not satisfy anyone. Buying diamonds can be a tricky procedure and to the common eye a stone is a stone is a stone, knowing more will impact dramatically on making sure you shop smart and get what you want without ignoring clarity, cut and color. Don’t bye a diamond that’s already in a setting. This will make it impossible for you to do a proper examination of the stone with a detailed inspection, remember this is your wedding ring which represents new beginnings with clarity and without imperfections. Examine and decide on the diamond first then choose the setting you would like to put it in.

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